Monday, June 16, 2014

for your bloomsday amusement

a seriously helpful summary of ulysses from the bbc's neil smith:

CHAPTERS 1-3
The first three chapters introduce would-be writer Stephen Dedalus, familiar to Joyce readers from his earlier novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
James Joyce's grave
Joyce is buried at Fluntern cemetery in Zurich, Switzerland
On the morning of 16 June 1904, Stephen leaves the disused watchtower he shares with "stately, plump Buck Mulligan", vowing never to return.
After teaching at a nearby school he talks to an ageing master who gives him a letter to deliver to the offices of a Dublin newspaper.
He then goes for a long walk on the beach that gives him plenty of time to ponder his literary aspirations and dead mother fixation.
CHAPTERS 4-5
Jewish advertising salesman Leopold Bloom buys a kidney, then returns home to 7 Eccles Street and has it for breakfast. He then defecates. Upstairs Molly, his unfaithful opera singer wife, waits for him to leave so she can entertain her lover.
CHAPTER 6
Bloom attends a funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery, his symbolic encounter with death mirroring Odysseus's descent into Hades. It's a real barrel of laughs.
CHAPTER 7
NEAR MISS AT NEWSPAPER OFFICE
Bloom and Stephen almost meet in a chapter peppered with tabloid-style headlines.
CHAPTERS 8-9
It's lunchtime, so Bloom stops at Davy Byrne's "moral pub" for a gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of burgundy. He then pays a call to the National Library where he overhears Stephen sounding off about Shakespeare.
CHAPTER 10
Lots of short episodes. Lots of different characters. All connected by a Vice-Regal parade from one side of town to the other.
CHAPTER 11
In a chapter full of song - Joyce's allusion to Homer's deadly Sirens - Bloom narrowly avoids meeting Molly's lover, concert promoter Blazes Boylan.
CHAPTER 12
Bloom has an argument with a pub bore whose blinkered anti-Semitism mirrors Homer's one-eyed Cyclops. He exits, closely followed by a cake tin.
CHAPTER 13
As evening falls, Bloom sees two young girls on the beach and masturbates in a chapter written in the florid style of a romantic penny-dreadful.
CHAPTER 14
Stephen and Bloom meet at last in a maternity hospital in a chapter whose structure is meant to represent both the nine months of pregnancy and the birth of the English language. And they say this book is hard.
CHAPTER 15
READER
(horrorstruck) Blimey, this looks like heavy going.
STEPHEN'S DEAD MOTHER
No kidding! There's over 100 pages of this stuff, all written in the style of a play script. But all you need to know is that Bloom follows Stephen to a brothel where they have lots of freaky hallucinations.
CHAPTER 16
A weary Bloom takes Stephen to a cabman's shelter where they listen to the ramblings of a tattooed sailor who makes little or no senzzzzzzz
CHAPTER 17
Q. What happens next?
A. Bloom and Stephen walk back to Eccles Street. Bloom offers Stephen a bed for the night but Stephen refuses and leaves. Bloom goes to bed. The section is written in a question-and-answer format like a religious catechism.
CHAPTER 18
yes Molly Bloom sits awake in bed yes and remembers her youth in Gibraltar yes and her many sexual partners yes in one unbroken stream of consciousness yes and recalls the day she yes gave herself to Bloom while munching some heavily symbolic seed cake yes
(The 35-page chapter consists of just seven sentences. The final words are: "...and yes I said yes I will Yes.")

No comments:

Post a Comment